Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amare Stoudemire Won't Stop Calling My Phone

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 8:26 PM

click to enlarge Amare Stoudemire

Imagine my surprise two Sundays ago when my phone rang at around 8 a.m. with the caller I.D. saying it's an "Unknown Number". It wasn't my photographer, who usually calls me on Sunday mornings around that time to go to the Saints game, because the Saints play on Monday night. I racked my brain for a bit, wondered who could possibly have my number but not know me well enough to be calling me before noon.

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Giving up, I went against my best instinct and answered the phone.

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What happened was confusing and unbelievable. I heard someone on the other line fumble with their phone, mumble something about how they thought they'd get a machine and then start saying "This is Amare Stoudemire. I thought this was Steve Nash's phone. Steve, if it's you, we need a point gaurd in practice. Wake up, Steve! WAKE UP!" and then the person hung up.

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Did Amare Stoudemire prank call me? No, I thought, it must be some internet gag. Something Amare did where you can go online, put in your friend's number and a machine calls them at an ungodly hour and plays the same confusing message I heard. I Googled "Amare Stoudemire wake up call" and I found out that it's part of a program he's taking part in to wake up high school students accross the nation and get them up and to go to school. The program is called "Boost Up" and is meant to get America's youth to graduate high school. Finding this information settled my mind. Surely, the call to my phone was just a mistake (or a clever marketing ploy aimed at getting sports writers to be aware of the program).

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I was wrong.

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The next morning, I got another call from an unknown number. And then I got one the next morning and the next and then a couple of more after that. All of them were from Amare Stoudemire and all of them asked me to get up and got to classes so that I could graduate high school. Only thing is, I already did. Five years ago.

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-It all came to a head when I got a message yesterday morning, this time in Spanish (audio below). Now I feel like someone is mocking me.  And, after repeated attempts to get in touch with the people at BoostUp.org, I have not received any reason why I'm getting repeated phone calls getting me to wake up and graduate high school when I've done that already. Why, pray tell, must Amare Stoudemire haunt my early mornings? Why?

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So now I reach out the the gods of the internet. I hope that my story gets out so that other high school graduates who have experienced Amare Stoudemire's booming voice in the wee hours of the morning are no longer scared to share their story. Maybe one day, the Boost Up program will be able to differentiate between would-be high school drop outs and people whose diplomas hang in their parents' house.

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And if that doesn't work, I'll confront Amare myself the next time the Suns visit the Hornets.

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